Kay Adshead – a brief career overview (acting)
Kay Adshead trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). She was awarded the Emile Littler Award for Outstanding Talent and she won the Bryan Forbes prize for fencing and stage fighting.
On leaving RADA, she was cast by UK deviser / director Mike Leigh as leading character Linda in his iconic British film THE KISS OF DEATH. Other TV film roles included Cathy in the BBC Classic series WUTHERING HEIGHTS, described by The Stage as “surely the definitive Cathy, wild, and beautiful, hinting at the destructive obsessive madness previously shied away from”. She was Beryl Stapleton in the BBC Sunday Series HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES with Tom Baker as Sherlock Holmes.
In television, she made many appearances in popular, award-winning and esteemed comedy series, including Lorraine in OVER TO PAM, and Christine in DINNER LADIES, and numerous parts in Fry and Laurie. She was Barbara Fletcher for three years in the series FAMILY AFFAIRS. Kay created the role of Sue McKenna, living in Belfast for 16 weeks at the height of the troubles, in the daring Film on Four ACCEPTABLE LEVELS. Her numerous notable theatre appearances include Betty in TOUCHED and she sang the role of Clare Twain in WHITE SUIT BLUES, both directed by Sir Richard Eyre at the Old Vic. She played the leading role of Moll Gromer in THEE AND ME and Muriel in HARLEQUINADE at the Royal National Theatre, both directed by Michael Rudman.
She toured nationally playing Constance in AMADEUS, with Keith Michelle as Salieri, playing the largest theatres in the UK. She was Sissy in PEOPLE ARE LIVING THERE at The Royal Exchange with Margaret Tyzack. She played Jill in WALKING at The Royal Court and Tanzi in TRAFFORD TANZI at The Mermaid Theatre, learning to wrestle for this role.
During a season at the Bristol Old Vic, Kay played opposite Pete Posthlewaite in THE CHANGELING and SEMI-DETACHED. She played Liz Sharp (leading role) in JUICY BITS at The Lyric Hammersmith, main house.
Kay has played leading roles, often in World Premieres, at The Sheffield Crucible, Nottingham Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, Liverpool Playhouse, Liverpool Everyman, Edinburgh Lyceum, etc., etc.
She has appeared on the London Fringe in countless new plays, including Kath in First Blush at the the Bush, Susan in Love Bites at the ICA, and leading roles at The Soho Poly, The Drill Hall etc.
She is also a succesful playwrite, writing more than 25 plays, published by Oberon, Faber and Faber and Methuen She has been nominated three times for The Susan Smith Blackburn Award, for an EMMA and encore best play of the year.
She is Arustiv Durector in 2017 of award winning company MAMA QUILLA, (Fringe First, Adelaide Fringe sensation Award, Manchester Evening News Award etc.
- Constanze, Amadeus, Duncan C Weldon with Paul Gregg & Lionel Becker for Triumph Apollo Productions
- Muriel Palmer, Harlequinade, National Theatre
- Molly Gromer, Thee and Me, National Theatre
- Sissy, shorty's wife., People Are Living There, Royal Exchange Theatre Company
- The Changeling
- The Man Who Came to Dinner
- Wuthering Heights
- Betty, Touched, Nottingham Playhouse
- Letta, Death of a Salesman, Nottingham Playhouse
- Angel / Mourner / Prisoner, White Suit Blues, Nottingham Playhouse
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